Book Review: I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Many years ago I lived in Romania for 16 months as a young American volunteer. It was in the mid-nineties; communism (as it only shortly before existed in Romania) was a thing of the past, but its shadows still loomed large. Huge, half-built ‘hunger domes’ — that had been intended as neighborhood mess halls — … More Book Review: I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Introduction to Finland in 5 Books

Perhaps because of its pristine landscape, or the tendency of its residents toward verbal restraint, Finland has an understated national character that has kept generally out of the international limelight. However, this largely forested country has much to offer in the way of culture and literature. Its language has developed since ancient times, and now represents a growing literary entity on the world stage. … More Introduction to Finland in 5 Books

A Sampling of Sardines

Two years ago, during his last trip to Lisbon, Val made the following social media post: “TODAY in Lisbon: An amusement park for canned sardines. (This is not a joke!) “I came across this unusual shop, ‘O Mundo Fantastico da Sardinha Portuguese,’ which literally means ‘The Fantastic World of Portuguese Sardines.’ It’s located on one … More A Sampling of Sardines

Spain: A Natural High After a Finishing a Novel

There’s a place in this world that’s like no other. It’s a place of both breathtaking beauty and absolute peace. It’s a place where one can enjoy the pleasures of every sense: beautiful seascapes for the eyes, peaceful waves for the ears, floral fragrances for the nose, warm sunshine on the skin, and mouthwatering delicacies … More Spain: A Natural High After a Finishing a Novel

October Revelations: A Great New Fall Read

It’s October and author V M Karren has been hard at work racing to get his new novel ready for launch in a few weeks. It’s called October Revelations and is the third and final book in The Deceit of Riches Trilogy. October Revelations, which is scheduled for release on November 12th of this year, … More October Revelations: A Great New Fall Read

First Trip to Luxembourg: Tiny Country with a Rich Heritage

The clean and elegant aesthetic of the tiny country of Luxembourg always impresses the newcomer, but what do we actually know about this place? Those familiar with the feel of France or Germany will find themselves doing double-takes in Luxembourg where these two cultures seem to seamlessly combine. Still, Luxembourg is its own place with … More First Trip to Luxembourg: Tiny Country with a Rich Heritage

The Old Age Question: Finding Youth in Brussels

(Excerpt from ‘The Tales of a Fly-By-Night’ by V M Karren) I was too far away from home when the music stopped. In fact, I was on the other side of the world when my return ticket expired. Life abroad wasn’t supposed to go on that long; it was all just part of the big … More The Old Age Question: Finding Youth in Brussels